Why might a young people try drugs or alcohol?
To be very clear, not every young person will choose to try drugs or drink alcohol. And if they do, they won’t necessarily come to direct harm as a result. But if they do try, it could be for a variety of reasons. It might be down to simple curiosity as these substances can appear to be cool or fun. Or it could be a way to fit in with new friends or a particular peer group.
Or maybe it’s because they have some personal issues that they’re struggling with. Every year we speak to thousands of young people who tell us they feel under pressure to succeed in exams, maintain relationships or to look or act in certain ways. It’s clear that each of these stresses can have a significant impact on their physical and emotional health.
For some young people, the effects of drugs and alcohol may appear to offer an escape from their troubles and a way to stop worrying about things, if only for a short time. If we understand these reasons, we can talk with them about more positive ways to cope with life’s challenges.